Horizon prizes, also known as inducement prizes are challenging prizes that offer an award to whoever deliver a disruptive solution, with the scope to stimulate innovation and come up with solutions to problems that matter to European citizens. In doing so, Horizon prizes are a tried and tested way to support and accelerate change in the world and have become an important driver for innovation in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. Not prescribing how the solution shall be reached, these challenge prizes provide a way to advance innovations, which would have not developed through traditional financing channels.
In 2016, several prizes have been launched by the European Commission:
Horizon prize for Integrated Photovoltaic Energy System, which will reward a European protected historic urban district that has perfectly integrated in its buildings a photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity for at least 50% of its required electricity consumption. European architectural and planning rules for protected historic buildings lead to major technical constrains in integrating renewable energy such as photovoltaic. Thus the challenge is to develop the most suitable photovoltaic energy system, with optimal technical solution, and a minimal intrusion to the structure of protected buildings. Applications can be submitted until 26 September 2018. The award solution will receive 750.000 euros.
The challenge for Materials for clean air, set for €3 million prize, is to develop an innovative and well-designed material solution that will reduce the concentration of particulate matter in the air in urban areas. Contestants will be able to submit their entries until 23 January 2018.
The purpose of Cleanest engine of the future prize is to stimulate the development of next generation engine and powertrain technologies using conventional fuels. This should reduce emissions of pollutants in real driving conditions to the lowest level possible in order to improve air quality issues in European cities, while at the same time delivering better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions under the same realistic test conditions. The awarded solution will receive €3.5 million. The deadline for participating in the contest is on 20 August 2019.
Horizon prize CO2 reuse will reward innovative products utilising CO2 that could significantly reduce the atmospheric emissions of CO2 while overcoming technical, commercial and/or financial barriers. The solution will receive €1.5 million. Applications can be submitted until 3 April 2019.
The Low carbon hospital prize rewards a hospital that has an innovative and perfectly integrated combined CHP installation within its premises, offering €1 million. The challenge is to develop an innovative renewable energy solution integrating several technologies into one energy system in a hospital, while ensuring a 100% secure energy supply. Installing this kind of integrated equipment in the ecosystem of a hospital would not only ensure the security of its energy supply, but it would also raise public awareness of the integration of renewable energies in everyday life. The prize also aims to mobilise and enhance private and public investments for the replication of similar solutions in Europe and worldwide. Applications can be submitted until the 3 April 2019.
Engine retrofit for clean air. This prize sets a €1.5 million for demonstrating on a running vehicle a solution for an existing engine and powertrains that best addresses the issue of greatly reducing emissions of NOx, particles, hydrocarbons in real driving conditions, while ensuring low levels of undesired other pollutants also in the future. The deadline for submitting applications is on 12 September 2017.
The Birth day prize is an initiative of the European Commission which has committed €1 million, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledging another €1 million and a further €500 000 donated by the MSD for Mothers programme of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation. The objective is to solution that best demonstrates a reduction in maternal and/or newborn morbidity and mortality and/or stillbirths during facility-based deliveries. This solution will need to be novel, safe and scalable. The deadline for submissions is 6 September 2017 at 17:00 CET
Rules and Guidance for submissions are available on the Horizon Prizes website